Tacloban City (June 1) — The GMA Kapuso Foundation, the Department of Education and the Philippine Army 19th Infantry Battalion joined hands to conduct the “Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan, Alay sa mga Kabataan” project in the province of Biliran on May 21 -22, 2008.
The three coordinating entities chose Biliran as one of the provinces that need educational assistance for Grade I pupils, Second Lt. Gabriel Aranez, public information officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Kananga, Leyte, disclosed.
Under the Unang Hakbang Sa Kinabukasan Alay sa Mga Kabataan, which is aimed at uplifting the morale of children entering the Grade I level of formal education and making the financial burden of the parent lighter, the group proceeded to the municipalities of Kawayan, Culaba, Maripipi and Almeria to distribute school supplies to the children who will enter Grade I this coming school opening.
The two day activity resulted in the distribution of 1,740 bags of GMA Kapuso Foundation-donated school supplies. Each bag, 2LT Aranez informed, contained 1 school bag, 5 notebooks, 2 pencils, 2 pads of paper, 1 eraser, 1 pencil sharpener and 1 box of crayons.
The Department of Education Biliran Division facilitated the presence of the school children and teachers, provided the distribution centers, food for the group and service vehicle for the staff.
The 19th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army provided two trucks for the transport of the supplies and also provided personnel for manpower and security of the delegation.
The three agencies of goodwill were represented by Ms Tina Dungca and Mr. Leon Defuntorum of GMA Kapuso Foundation of the GMA7 NETWORK, Ms. Sarah Apurillo who is the OIC School Division Superintendent of DEP-ED Biliran Division, 1LT Malinche Tomarong Commanding Officer of “B”COY, 2LT Gabriel Aranez who is the Civil Military Operations Officer of the 9IB, and MSgt Flor Sampayan of the CMOU, 8ID.
The activity was a great success as could be glimpsed in the smiles of the 1740 little “angels” who are looking forward to entering the formal education on June 10.
What made the activity significant is that in the history of Biliran, there has never been an outreach program that was aimed at uplifting the morale of small children to seek for a better education. What a better way of inspiring and boosting the morale of these children to study than by giving importance to their first step in school, than providing them with school supplies needed for their education.
With this activity which is in support to the Education for All program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the GMA 7, the Department of Education and the 19th IB won the hearts of the people of Biliran. PIA 8